3rd July – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

3rd July


Wednesday 3 July 1968

As part of a series of protests against housing conditions in Derry, the Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) held a sit-down protest on the newly opened second deck of the Craigavon Bridge in the city.

Friday 3 July 1970

Falls Road Curfew

Beginning in the afternoon, the British Army carried out extensive house searches in the Falls Road area of Belfast for members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and IRA arms. A military curfew was imposed on the area for a period of 34 hours with movement of people heavily restricted. The house searches lasted for two days and involved considerable destruction to many houses and their contents. During the searches the army uncovered a lot of illegal arms and explosives.

However the manner in which the searches were conducted broke any remaining goodwill between the Catholic community and the British Army. During the period of the curfew there were gun battles between both wings of the IRA and the Army. Two people were killed by the British Army during the violence; one of them deliberately run over by an Army vehicle. Another person was shot and mortally wounded by the Army and died on 10 July 1970

Monday 3 July 1972

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the British Army come into conflict about a ‘no-go’ area at Ainsworth Avenue, Belfast.

Tuesday 4 July 1972

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) forwarded a file on about the killings on ‘Bloody Sunday’ (30 January 1972) to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for Northern Ireland. The Attorney General made a statement about this file on 1 August 1972

See Bloody Sunday

Wednesday 3 July 1974

Máire Drumm, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that SF was ready to talk with representatives of the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC).

This statement followed an offer by Andy Tyrie, then leader of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), to be involved in negotiations with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

At this time there were a number of areas of common interest between Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups including the issues of Internment and prisoners.

See Ulster Workers’ Council Strike

Friday 3 July 1981

In the United States of America (USA) a federal court ruled that Noraid (Northern Ireland Aid ?) would have to register as an agent of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

 See 1981 Hunger Strike

Sunday 3 July 1983

The home of Gerry Fitt, formerly the Member of Parliament (MP) for West Belfast, in Belfast was set on fire by Nationalist youths. The house was not occupied at the time.

Wednesday 3 July 1985

The Orange Order organised a large Loyalist protest demonstration in Portadown, County Armagh, against the re-routing of a Loyalist parade away from a Catholic area of the town.

[There was trouble in the town on 7 July 1985 and on 12 July 1985. The annual Orange parade to Drumcree, Portadown, was to return to the headlines in 1995.]

drumcree church at night

See Drumcree

Friday 3 July 1987

The first taxi driver to be killed during the ‘Troubles’ was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). [In the coming years taxi drivers were to become regular targets for the paramilitary groups.] In a dispute over the display of emblems in the workplace Shorts Aircraft company suspended work in three production plants.

Wednesday 3 July 1991

Political Talks End

In order to try to prevent the complete collapse of the negotiations Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced at Westminster that he was bringing this stage of the political talks (later known as the Brooke / Mayhew talks) to an end.

[Unionists had stated that they were unwilling to continue the talks beyond 9 July 1991.]

Sunday 3 July 1994

The Sunday Tribune (a Dublin based newspaper) carried a report that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was considering a ceasefire.

Monday 3 July 1995

Clegg Released

lee glegg

Lee Clegg, a paratrooper with the British Army, was released from prison on the orders of Patrick Mayhew, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Clegg had received a life sentence and been imprisoned in June 1993 for the murder of Karen Reilly (18), a Catholic civilian, on 30 September 1990.

The decision to release Clegg sparked serious rioting in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

[Rioting continued for a second night. Clegg was accepted back into the British Army and later promoted.]

See Lee Clegg

Sinn Féin (SF) and representatives of Loyalist paramilitaries called for the immediate release of all political prisoners. Breidge Gadd, then Chief Probation Officer for Northern Ireland, resigned from the Life Sentence Review Board in protest at the decision.

John Bruton, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), said that he expected the British authorities to apply the same rules “to other similar prisoner cases”.

Thursday 3 July 1997

Relatives of those killed on ‘Bloody Sunday‘ presented a 40,000 signature petition for a new inquiry into the killings to Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

See Bloody Sunday

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, held a meeting at 10 Downing Street with Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), to discuss matters related to Northern Ireland and in particular the Drumcree parade on 6 July 1997.

Ahern said that it would be a mistake to force the march along the Garvaghy Road. Mowlam held meetings with the heads of the security services about Drumcree.

Friday 3 July 1998

William Paul (41), a former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was shot dead in what the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) believed was a drugs-related feud among former paramilitaries.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) issued a statement supporting the Orange Order’s right to march down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown, County Down. Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), issued a statement backing the Garvaghy Road residents and called for the forthcoming march to be rerouted.

Denis Bradley, a former Catholic priest, revealed that he had been one of a number of members of “The Contact” and had acted as a ‘go-between’ for MI6 and the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Bradley said that he had dealt with Frank Steele (then a member of the British diplomatic service) and Michael Oatley (who was referred to by Republicans as “The Mountain Climber”). The revelations were contained in a report in the Derry Journal newspaper.

Saturday 3 July 1999

The Irish Times (a Dublin based newspaper) carried a report on what it termed a “ethno-sectarian” campaign by Loyalist paramilitaries against Catholics and couples in mixed marriages living in towns across Northern Ireland.

The report said that the campaign had gone virtually unreported despite the fact that Loyalists had carried out over 200 bomb attacks. Many Catholics had been forced to abandon their homes.

The reported highlighted the situation in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, where it was claimed that members of the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA) were responsible.

Monday 3 July 2000


Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers moved to clear Loyalists from Drumcree after coming under a barrage of stones, bottles, and firecrackers for the second night in a row. However violence continued at Drumcree and demonstrations and protests spread throughout Northern Ireland.



Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

7 People lost their lives on the 3rd July between 1970 – 1998


03 July 1970
Thomas Reid   (46)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died 6 days after being hit on the head by missile thrown from a crowd during street disturbances, Springfield Road, Belfast. .


03 July 1970
Charles O’Neill   (36)

Status: Civilian (Civ), K

illed by: British Army (BA)
Knocked down by British Army (BA) Armoured Personnel Carrier, during street disturbances, Falls Road, Lower Falls, Belfast.


03 July 1970

William Burns   (54)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot at the front door of his home, Falls Road, Lower Falls, Belfast.


03 July 1972
John O’Hanlon   (38)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot on waste ground, Twickenham Street, Shankill, Belfast.


03 July 1976
William Miller   (19)

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while at British Army (BA) pedestrian check point, Butcher Gate, Butcher Street, Derry.


03 July 1987

Edward Campbell  (40)

Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Former internee. Taxi driver. Found shot in disused quarry, Upper Crumlin Road, Belfast


03 July 1998
William Paul   (49)

Status: ex-Ulster Volunteer Force (xUVF),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Shot, outside his home, Glastry Gardens, Kilcooley, Bangor, County Down.




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